By Thomas M. Loarie

BOOK REVIEW: Manby Focuses on St. Paul’s Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders and Life

August 28, 2020
Column: CEO Learnings

Joel Manby’s Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders is an excellent book that is worth your time and money. Over the course of my career, there have been hundreds of books published on leadership effectiveness. While they all have their own twist, the best of them all share a common thread. They are all rooted in Biblical principles. While this may not be stated explicitly, those familiar with scripture will clearly see it.

Some of these timeless and best-selling books that are rooted in biblical principles include:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • How to Impact and Influence Others
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • The Speed of Trust
  • Excellence Wins

Manby’s Love Works gets right to the core biblical principle, love.

According to Manby leadership effectiveness whether in your personal life or at work springs forth from love and the exercise of love. I subscribe to this 1000%. I am not alone, just do a search on the keywords love and leadership.

You will find that Lao Tzu tells us, “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.” Leo Buscaglia tells us that “Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lies man’s only promise.” And from the New Testament, St. Paul in his oft quoted passage on love 1 Corinthians 13.3-8, tells us that “love never fails.” Have you ever tried this approach that never fails?

Manby’s seven timeless principles build on what St. Paul shares:

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love Works begins with Manby’s own journey to understanding this powerful approach to leading and to life.

After stints at GM’s Saturn and Saab units, he ends up in a family owned and operated business, Herschend Family Entertainment, which entertains over 16 million people each year at its 26 theme properties. The Herschends taught him that leadership is the bottom line and:

1.   Loving the people you work with
2.  Making your community a better place
3.  Feeling a sense of satisfaction at the end of every day
4. Leading employees who cannot imagine working anywhere else

Love, Manby learned, is more than a verb, more than a feeling. Treating someone with love regardless of how you feel about that person is a very powerful principal. This type of love is the basis for all healthy relationships, bringing out the best in ourselves and others. It makes us great spouses, grandparents, and great friends… and great leaders too.BOOK REVIEW: Manby Focuses on St. Paul’s Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders and Life

Inspired by what he learned and absorbed, Manby shares his hard-earned insights in this book. The core of the book centers on the seven principles drawn from St. Paul. Each has a chapter (Patient, Kind, Trust, Unselfish, Truthful, Forgiveness, Dedication/Commitment) and at the end of each chapter, he provides questions that are addressed and a quick summary as a reference. For example:

Chapter 3, Patient: Have Self-Control in Difficult Situations – questions Manby addresses include:

  • How can a patient leader survive – and thrive – in a fast-paced organization?
  • Are there ways to admonish poor performance while protecting a person’s dignity?
  • Is there a laser-focused way to use praise to maximum benefit and balance our admonishment?

His summary for Chapter 3, Patient:

  1. Don’t be patient with poor performance. Be patient with how you respond to poor performance
  2. Praise patiently in public but be specific and exact, be legitimate – false praise kills credibility
  3. Admonish in private, it is effective and protects a person’s dignity. Get to the point and be specific; reaffirm the person’s value; get the person “back on the horse”; and don’t speak of the reason for admonishment again.
  4. Praise more than you admonish – think of it in terms of the 3 to 1 ratio.

This will give you an idea of what you are in for. Manby’s Love Works provides a useful, practical guide for integrating love into all aspects of our life.

Contrary to what many may think, this is not the soft stuff of leadership. Loving is not an easy thing to integrate into our life. We see examples everyday of unloving behavior in every aspect of our lives. Stick out, be different, be effective…learn to love!

You can hear my interview of Joel Manby who appeared on my radio show, The Mentors Radio, on July 20, 2020. It is now available via podcast which is available 24/7 on the show’s website here.


View Articles Thomas M. Loarie is a popular host of The Mentors Radio Show, the founder and CEO of BryoLogyx Inc. (, and a seasoned corporate... MORE »

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